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John Parker

Remembering Joe Shuster, The First Superhero Artist

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On July 10th, 1914, Joe Shuster was born to a pair of Jewish immigrants living in Toronto. As a young man living in Cleveland, Shuster befriended another first-generation American named Jerry Siegel, and together the two created both a genre and an icon with Superman.

The years of legal battles and ignominy are well-known, but it's important to think of Shuster as more than a tale of woe. Let's take a moment to consider Shuster's greatest contribution to comics: raw power.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Anniversaries, DC

Prepping for Re-Entry with ‘Astronauts In Trouble’

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Reissues give you a chance to re-read an old book --- maybe even a a mostly-forgotten one --- with fresh eyes. Now that Image is reprinting Larry Young and Charlie Adlard's Astronauts In Trouble in its entirety, a lot of readers get to look back on a book that had a lot of buzz surrounding it near the turn of the century.

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Why Vaughan and Harris’s ‘Ex Machina’ Was Among the Most Important Comics of the 2000s

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On this date in 2004, Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris's Ex Machina #1 debuted, beginning a fifty-issue run that is widely considered one of the best comics of the 2000s. More specifically than that, though, it's the most real-world relevant superhero comic... ever?

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Understanding Scott McCloud, Comics’ Great Teacher

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Scott McCloud was born on this day in 1960, as Scott McLeod. (Like all great self-made iconoclasts, he changed his name.) Cartoonist, scholar, orator, inventor, and champion, Scott McCloud is one of the most important creators of his era, and perhaps the Ben Franklin of comics.

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Thumbnail: Theme And Motif In ‘The Sandman: Overture’

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The things about The Sandman that I recall the most fondly aren't what most others think of. In my experience, an overwhelming percentage of readers are quick to talk about the characters, or the strength of writer Neil Gaiman's voice. I definitely can't argue against either of those, but what I really appreciated about The Sandman was Gaiman and his artists' ingeniously subtle tricks with symbolism and structure. The big points were always echoed in some very clever ways that never disrupted the natural flow of the story to point out how ornate the plot actually was.

Gaiman and J.H. Williams III have managed to condense pretty much all the major themes of the seventy-five issue run of The Sandman into The Sandman: Overture.

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The Reality of the American Dream in ‘Jupiter’s Circle’ [Review]

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Perhaps because he wanted to reveal more of the back story, perhaps because of Frank Quitely's legendary turnaround times, Mark Millar has teamed with artist Wilfredo Torres for Jupiter's Circle, a ten-issue companion series to Jupiter's Legacy. Does it actually provide something new, or is it more of the same? (I genuinely don't know, I'm writing this part before I actually read it.) One thing's for certain: it's one-hundred percent going to be finished before Jupiter's Legacy is.

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Thumbnail: ‘Casanova’ and Autobiography in Genre Comics

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With Casanova: Acedia now underway, and a new collected edition of Casanova: Avaritia available, now is the perfect time to discuss one my favorite sub-sections of comics: semi-autobiographical genre books. Yeah, it's a real thing.

When you parse out the world of comics, there are these great big bins that most everything gets thrown into: mainstream and alternative/independent. The overwhelming majority of mainstream books are in the superhero genre, while autobiography is easily the most prevalent type of comic among the independents. There's plenty of great work in those two larger categories, but things get really fascinating to me when they intersect.

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The Light and Dark of L.A. Noir: Return to the World of ‘Hit’ with ‘Hit 1957′ #1 [Review]

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Hit: 1955 was one of the best crime comics of 2013, a whiskey-soaked LA noir about a detective on a police hit squad that took on the mob. In their follow-up, Hit: 1957, the team of Bryce Carlson and Vanesa Del Rey dive back into the darkness for more.

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